Alyssa Mauriello

Young and Curious

It was a sunny, brilliant day, and it felt good to be outside. My mom was hosting one of her usual luncheons out on the patio of our house. During these parties I loved to just lie on the railing of the patio and watch the guests mingle. My mom, one of the most popular women in our town, a small suburb outside of New Jersey, always had a great number of guests. Being head of over six charitable organizations in town helped her earn her popularity. I wondered how each guest knew my mother, as I watched all of them talk, laugh, and drink. I preferred keeping to myself instead of socializing, but I still loved observing what everyone else was doing. I found my mother’s friends to be an interesting group of people, always mingling, gossiping, and having fun. The women were dressed beautifully. They wore colored dresses as bright as the sun and lovely hats with flowers on them. As for the men, some were dressed rather plainly but others wore fancy suits and tall, black, top hats. I wondered why some of them chose to dress up while others chose to dress casually.

I remember one time, while on the porch watching one of my mother’s get-togethers, I saw a couple standing alone in the corner. They were both attractive, in an ordinary and unusual sort of way. The woman looked different from most women I saw at my mother’s parties. She had long, straight, red hair, and was wearing a gorgeous blue dress with white ruffles. The man had a scruffy beard and a white tank top. The tank top cut off at his shoulders to reveal his muscular arms which were wrapped around the girl’s waist. As I watched them interact, I could tell by their body language that they had a special relationship. Being young and naïve, I didn’t know much about love. I thought that this might be it though. I watched the couple with great interest. They both had a twinkle in their eyes. They touched each other softly and smiled constantly.

After that day, my favorite type of people to watch at my mother’s luncheons became couples, but today there were so many other interesting people to see. Right in front of me sat a lady who looked about twenty-five years old. She was sitting all alone with a dog in her lap. The dog was small, with soft brown and white hair, perhaps a member of the Terrier family. I wondered why the young woman wasn’t talking to anyone else at the party. Why would she rather sit there with a dog than go socialize with her fellow friends? She leaned in and tried to kiss the dog on the nose with a loving look on her face. This expression was similar to the looks I had observed couples giving each other. “Is it possible that she could love this dog, like other humans love humans?” I thought.

I decided to take a break from watching the lady and the dog. When I looked over to the other side of the patio, I saw my mom, finally deciding to make an appearance at her own party. Uh-Oh. My mother didn’t like me sitting out here during her gatherings. As she scanned the scene of her own friends, I saw her spot me. A small girl dressed in dull clothing stood out among all those rather extravagantly dressed adults. Looking at my mother I could tell she was dressed the most extravagantly of all, with a gleaming red dress and an incredibly large hat covered in multi-colored flowers. She immediately walked over to me after she had spotted me, and told me off for being there.

“Don’t just lie here and stare at my guests! How extremely rude of you,” she scolded.

Although my mother was bothered by my being there, no one else really seemed to mind, or even notice. Still, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, for I, surely, had not been invited. So I made my way through the group of people, who didn’t even notice me squirming through their sea of legs and frilly dresses to return back inside my house, wondering what I might witness next time I secretly attended one of my mother's parties.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.